Windows 10: How to make cloned drive bootable? Solved

  1.    07 Aug 2017 #1

    How to make cloned drive bootable?

    I cloned C drive to G via Macrium Reflect sector by sector but cannot understand why the cloned SSD is not bootable. What commands do I run to enable the mirror G drive to boot just like C?The hardware is MSI Titan GT80 SLI running Windows 10.The G drive needs to say (Boot, Page File, Crash Dump, etc.) just like drive C above. I explicitly tried to boot off G which of course did not work.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  2.    07 Aug 2017 #2

    Assuming you are logged onto your current OS:

    • bcdboot G:\Windows
    • bcdedit /set {default} description "Boot from Current"

    Drive letters (C etc) are assigned when you boot so if you boot from the clone C volume will be on disk 1 rather than 2.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  3.    07 Aug 2017 #3

    Where does the bcdboot copy files from by the default? I thought you had to specify the source drive?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    07 Aug 2017 #4

    Where you tell it of course

    If you say bcdboot F:\Windows then it is going to add a record to the bcd store for the volume that is currently F.

    F in this case is only the letter assigned by the currently running system - nothing more.

    Assuming you boot it then it will be C - drive letters change.

    Your firmware has a way of scanning and identifying valid disk volumes to boot depending on whether it can read the filesystem (i.e. EFI drivers are loaded) whether that filesystem is seen as bootable etc. It may or may not include what you want.

    You can see help for bcdboot using the bcdboot /? command but really all it is doing is adding places to look for the Windows boot loader.

    You could skip this and use another boot loader (I use refind) if you wanted.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  5.    07 Aug 2017 #5

    That worked. I had to give the source and the destination. Like this:

    • bcdboot C:\Windows /s G:


    I swapped the drives so that C became the primary and disk2 with G being the Disk2
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  6.    07 Aug 2017 #6

    BTW, looking at the disk management tool, there is no way to tell if a disk bootable or not. After the above command, everything works but still no way to tell other than going into BIOS and shifting the boot order.

    How do I determine if the disk can boot or not?
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  7.    08 Aug 2017 #7

    With EFI there is nothing special you have to do to make a disk bootable - in old legacy BIOS based systems you had to mark a partition active and have some sort of code stored in track one of the disk.

    With EFI your firmware will look for a FAT partition (the EFI System Partition or ESP) and try to find a bootloader in there. Some firmware are better than others -
    A bug exists in some Lenovo computers (and perhaps in some others, too) that causes the firmware's boot manager to refuse to boot any boot loader that doesn't have the name Windows Boot Manager or Red Hat Enterprise Linux.
    Source - The rEFInd Boot Manager: Installing rEFInd

    Assuming it finds a Windows Boot loader and there is a record in the bcd store for a partition containing Windows it will boot it - the disk or partition Windows is on doesn't need to be flagged as bootable in any particular way.

    What is odd about your setup is you have 2 ESPs - one on disk 1, partition 1 and one on disk 2, partition 1. Which will be found first by your firmware I don't know - presumably the order set in the BIOS but not necessarily. What you would need to do (and what you appear to have done) is make sure that the bcd store in both of these ESPs contain records for both Windows installs.

    Another option would be to delete one of the ESP to avoid confusion and make sure that there are records for both Windows installs in the remaining one. That would be a more typical (and less confusing) way of dealing with multi-boot assuming that is what you want to do here.

    If you are interested I'd recommend either the rEFInd site linked above or this - both are quite informative and explain it better than I can:
    The EFI System Partition and the Default Boot Behavior - The Uncoöperative Organization
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    16 Aug 2017 #8

    Easy BCD 2.3 is a neat program. It's a GUI on top of command line stuff.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


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